Friday, April 17, 2009
I still own some stock in my former employer. After some prodding by their proxy solicitation firm I finally got around to voting my shares over the internet. One of the shareholder proposals seemed bizarre to me. It wanted executive performance to be judged without reference to how well the pension funds were doing. This makes no sense to me. If a company pension fund loses $10 billion in a bad market the company has lost $10 billion. Managing the pension funds is an important part of the job for the top executives and should certainly be included when evaluating their performance. Of course any shareholder can offer proposals so it is not uncommon to see strange ones. However I was startled to learn that the same proposal had received over 43% of the vote last year.